Roasted Squash Soup

My food box.
I love it.  It's organic stuff and it gets delivered to my door.  They source as locally as possible which means that things come seasonally.  The 'season' right now is all about squash and roots and the like.  These are things that I don't honestly know that much about.  Truth be told, this is the first squash soup that I've ever made.

In the 70's we weren't really thinking about seasonal food, local food, organic food and all that.  Hmmm, what were we thinking about in the 70's - there's a question.  I didn't grow up with a whole lot of squash aside from acorn.  I don't exactly know why acorn as opposed to the other stuff but hey, we would have acorn squash roasted with butter and sugar inside.  It tasted good.  Aside from that I've had nothing to go on and not a lot of experience eating it elsewhere.  I didn't even know how many kinds of squash there were out there.

So, I've nothing to lose here and everything to gain.  As it goes, this soup is nice.  It's easy.  You can use just about any squash you like, including acorn!  And you can pretty much spice it up any way you like... you know... go with curry, go with chili, go with herb.  It's pretty flexible for a soup.

Roasted Squash Soup
makes about 6 - 7 cups

2 med/small squash (I used delicata)
1 lg leek, sliced thin
2 small carrots, chopped
1 lg stalk of celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
5 cups of broth or bouillion mix
2 tbsp thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Halve the squash.  Scoop out the insides (keep the seeds to roast if you like) and butter the cut side.  Place cut side down on a roasting sheet and roast for about 25 - 30 min or until they're soft and looking roasted.

Remove from oven and cool slightly.
In a large, heated Dutch oven add a hefty scoop of butter.  Add in the leek, carrot and celery and saute for a few minutes - until the leek begins to wilt a bit.  Add in the garlic and saute for another few minutes.   Scoop out the cooked insides of the squash and add to the mixture.  Mix well.  Add in the broth and simmer at low heat.  Add in the herbs and salt just to taste.
Once the soup is looking soft then give it a whiz in the blender (be careful when whizzing hot stuff) or use a hand blender (don't have one anymore ;-( until it's nice and smooth.

I like to serve this with a little sour cream or heavy cream and some chili peppers on top.  But that's me.  You serve it any old way you like....

Apple Sauce Cupcakes

I've been doing this blog now for almost one year.  I know.  A 130ish posts in and still going strong.  I don't know how many people actually read the blog or just drop by for a quick peak but I appreciate every single viewing.  I got some cool information the other day.
Here's the thing.  My BFF KT has just started her own blog.  She is dealing with the healthcare system in a big way after discovering a BCC (Basal Cell Carcinoma) on her back.  Sometimes the healthcare system, even in Canada, can be challenging.  So as a young, technologically savvy woman with lots to say to encourage others through something similar... She has started a blog.  Well, I found out that a friend of hers was reading her blog and then linked to my blog.  He is a young priest who has just started  at a parish in Ontario.  He used to run and bike quite avidly.  In fact, I distinctly remember having conversation with him just a short time ago about winter biking.  Well, as a result of years of seminary and then starting up in a new parish he has gotten out of the biking/running habit.  It seems that after reading my blog about all my stupid escapades around preparing for the half marathon, running and biking to work, kissing pavement on occasion and the lot, he has gotten inspired to get back to doing it himself again!

Now that is something that I hadn't expected.  Ok, maybe once in a while you might crack a smile at some of the dumb crap that I write about, once in a while you might look at a picture and think, 'That looks kinda good, I'm gonna try it' but I never expected that by writing a food blog I might inspire someone to get back to working it out!  I'm flattered and kinda on a high because of it right now.  You just never know what sharing your crap will do...

Cupcakes - yeah.  I just read a great post from Dana Treat about these incredible sounding cupcakes - no those I gotta try (and I told her so).  These ones, they're not gonna change your life or anything, but you know what?  They are really kinda nice with a cuppa on a fall afternoon, especially if you've just done a little working it out ;-)

Apple Sauce Cupcakes (King Arthur Flour website)
makes 12 cupcakes

3 oz. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 lg eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cup apple sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin cups with liners or whatever you normally use.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.  Mix and set aside.
In a large bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs and beat until well mixed and liquid(y).

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Mix well until everything is incorporated.
Add in the apple sauce and mix until thoroughly combined.
Fill the 12 muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake for about 22 - 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool completely.
Ice with cream cheese icing if you wish or just have 'em plain.

Cream Cheese icing

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 - 3 cups icing sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.

Chocolate White/Dark Chunk Espresso Cookies

It's a mouthful... I know.   Just deciding what to call these things took a few minutes out of my life.  Really it might just be easier to tell you what's not in these cookies rather than what is.  In all seriousness, the cookies are quite simple and when you look at the ingredients list it's quite straight forward and short.  I just came up with a ridiculously convoluted name is all.  These cookies are off the chain.  Really.  I ate two of them in one go.  Serious.  You HAVE to use good quality white and dark chocolate though - it will make all the difference.

Now, I have to stop here and explain something.  I have two of the best kids in the world.  They are great.  Great personalities, adequately precocious, adorable/beautiful... you get the picture.  However, historically they haven't always been the easiest to feed.  Kid #1 used to refuse almost everything remotely related to 'real'.  It took until her 7th or 8th year to get past the fussing over each meal.  Ugh!  We had fights... I know you're not supposed to, whatever, we had fights, OK?  Kid #2 is now 4 yrs old and has somehow inherited the same wonderful disgust for anything green, or red, or orange.  We've had fights.  I've threatened to take him to the hospital (because one gets sick when one doesn't eat), to the doctor, no tv, no games... you name it.  He is beginning to get better but I think that the only thing that is really working here is bribery.  I know that you are probably thinking that I'm sub-par at parenting (hell, sometimes I'm right there with ya) but whatever.  Bribery works!  I bribe him with treats after he eats his food.

'Kid #2, if you eat all of your (insert disgusting sounding vegetable or food product) then you can have a cookie/brownie/piece of cake/etc.'
Kid #2:
'Ok Mommy but it doesn't look good.  It tastes funny'
'Don't you want the cookie/brownie/piece of cake/etc. though Kid #2?'

... and so it goes.  It must seems strange reading this kind of confession but oddly enough, for me, it's feeling very cathartic.  I'm probably doing it all very badly BUT Kid #2 is actually eating his veggies.
This cookie recipe is just the kind of thing that is going to get us through yet another week of parent/child bliss.

Chocolate White/Dark Chunk Espresso Cookies adapted from King Arthur Flour website
makes about 2 doz. med sized cookies

1/2 cup butter melted or nearly melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 lg eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp espresso powder
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
3/4 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
100 g (1 lg bar) white chocolate, chopped into chunks
100 g dark chocolate (I used a bar infused with espresso pieces as well), in chunks
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or a silicon sheet.
In a large bowl sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and well blended.  Add in the eggs and mix well.  Add in the vanilla and espresso powder and mix thoroughly.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Mix well, the dough will be quite stiff.
Add in the chopped chocolates and the nuts.  Stir until mixed.
Drop in large tablespoons onto the cookie sheet.  I could fit about 12 - 14 on one sheet.  They don't spread that much.
Bake for about 10 min.  Don't over bake though.
Cool on a baking rack and eat with some tea or a big glass of milk... After you've eaten all of your veggies of course!

Burritos and Tomatillo Salsa

There are times when I wish that I were a superhero.  I think about it regularly.   How awesome would it be to be like WonderWoman.  She was awesome.  She had this cool Lasso thing that would make you tell only the truth if it caught you.  She rode around in this invisible plane (the best).  She had this cool spinny thing goin' on.  She would spin and move her head in this funny way.   There were a lot of attempts to copy it in my bathroom mirror.  It was cool.  She was beautiful too.  Who wouldn't want that figure and those dope white and red boots.
Here's the reality though.  I work too much.  My house is too messy.  When I should be cleaning I'm usually:
'Yoga'ing (!)
Playing a game with my kids
Even though my name is Wanda and I've been called 'WandaWoman' more times than I could ever count... I'm not WonderWoman.  She didn't have kids and I can't remember what her job was (although I know she had one - some army thing I think).  I never saw her have to cook her own food or clean up after herself.  She never seemed to have stupid deadlines or meetings or parent/teacher night or dance class.

So,what's this superhero stuff all about, you ask?
I didn't make my own Tortillas.
Yes my Peeps.  These things kind of get to me.  I bought the tortillas... from a store.  I couldn't even find organic ones.  Ugh.  In my other reality (don't know if you watch Fringe or not but there could be two universes!) maybe I'm that WonderWoman/Mom/wife/athlete who can do all the stuff that has to get done and still make homemade Tortillas every time she needs them.

I did make my own Tomatillo salsa but it was easy and so, in my mind, doesn't count that much.
Were these Burritos still really tasty?... Yup!
Are they worth making even if you don't have homemade tortilla's?... Yup!
Am I being ridiculous?.......

serves 6 - 8


1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 can of black beans
1 small onion, diced
1/2 diced pepper
1/2 diced zucchini
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
salt to taste


1 1/2 lbs beef chuck
1 med. tomato diced
1 small onion diced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Worcerstershire sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp chipotle powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt to taste

3 - 4 cups shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
Salsa (I used my green stuff ;-)
8 large tortilla shells

Heat a large pot and add about 2 tbsp of oil for frying.  Over medium heat, add in the veggies and cook for a few minutes - until soft.  Add in the spices and beans and cook for a couple of minutes together with the veggies.  Add in the rice and mix well.  Check the taste and add salt as needed.  Set aside.
In a large heated pot, add some oil for frying.  Add in the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft.  Add in the garlic and the pork.  Swish around a little bit.  After a few minutes, add in the soy sauce, Worcestershire, sugar, chipotle powder and smoked paprika.  Add about a 1/2 cup of water.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour.  Add more water if needed (check regularly).  With forks, pull apart the beef bits until they look shredded.  Check the tastes and adjust as needed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a large spoonful of the rice mixture in a tortilla shell.  Add a little bit of the beef mixture on top.  (I place all this stuff in a long row).  Add a couple of tbsp's of salsa and then some cheese.  Roll up the tortilla and place in a large baking sheet.  Continue this until everything is used up.  Save a little cheese for the top.  If you wish, add a little salsa on top of all the finished tortilla's and then cover with cheese.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.  Just until the cheese is bubbly.
Serve with more salsa.

Powered by Blogger.

Archivo del blog

About Me

My photo
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

My Favourite Cookbooks

  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
  • The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • More-with-Less Cookbook
  • Moosewood Cookbook

About Me

My Photo
Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
View my complete profile



Blog Archive



FBC Member